2019 was a milestone year for this artist as his music not only saw release with reputable American-label ‘Dank ‘n’ Dirty Dubz‘, but was also pressed onto vinyl for the very first time by strictly vinyl label, Frozen Plates. This week’s interview sees us chatting with Sheffield’s dubstep-heavyweight, Aztek.
SSC: Hi George! In your own words, who are you and what do you do?
SSC: So, how was the journey? What started it all off and how did that lead you to where you are today?
A: I first got into dubstep a little over 10 years ago, around the age of 16. I can remember hearing some in a friend’s car who had a subwoofer, and it just made sense to me. Spent the next few years chasing the sound at events. I couldn’t really get enough. Fast forward to the beginning of 2016, I had just downloaded Logic and fell into the rhythm of making music as much as I could, and now I am here!
SSC: Who are the main influences for you, musically?
A: In terms of the world of bass music, I was really drawn into the darker and techy sounding stuff. Kryptic Minds & Biome were some of my favourites. Really love drum and bass as well. Icicle and Skeptical if I was to pinpoint people. Their styles are the reason I was so intrigued by production. I follow the current scene pretty closely, which is thriving so no lack of inspiration there. But generally speaking, I try and take inspiration from the ups and downs of life in whatever form that takes!
SSC: What do you consider the highlight of your music career so far, and why?
A: Probably holding my copy of my Frozen Plates release! It’s been my goal since I started making music to have a release on vinyl, so was a nice feeling to make it happen.
SSC: Any moments you’d rather forget?
A: Probably a couple, but it’s all part of the learning curve!
SSC: Hailing from Sheffield, can you tell us a bit more about the sound system scene there?
A: The sound system scene here is quality. Sheffield is home to Komatik, Sinai and Raze (to name a few) and the teams behind each one are truly dedicated to the sound. Those guys all powered parts of last year’s Outlook Festival, which speaks for itself!
Events wise, the recent opening of a new warehouse venue ‘Dryad Works‘ is really exciting. I think it’s going to really spur a new wave of quality nights here, especially where dubstep and drum & bass is concerned. Juan Forte ran a night there late last year which was sick and really shows promise for both the venue and also dubstep in Sheffield!
SSC: Anyone we should be keeping an eye on right now? Any particular artists/DJs standing out to you?
A: Another Sheffield based producer who I’m sure you are familiar with called Taiko. A sick producer making proper organic sounding dubstep. Bradford based RUFUS! who has also been a firm favourite of mine for a while now on the techy side of things. Both lovely guys as well! There’s really too many to mention but definitely check out Surreal, Dystinkt, Ome, Wraz, Cartridge and Traces whose tunes all regularly find a place in my sets.
SSC: Other than bass-focused music, are there any other genres or artists you are particularly fond of?
A: I still enjoy listening to metal, which was my go-to genre before I found dubstep. Recently I’ve been listening to a lot of Lamb of God on a bit of a nostalgic one and also a band called Malevolence from Sheffield. I still bump a fair bit of UK hip hop too.
SSC: What’s on the horizon for Aztek? Anything exciting coming up?
A: I’ve got a 12″ record coming out in the first quarter of this year which I’m really happy about. Then it’s just a case of finalising some future projects and keeping on the grind. The most exciting part for me is making tunes so just more of the same I reckon!
SSC: And finally, if you could give one piece of advice for those wishing to follow in your path, what would it be?
A: Trust your own judgement, it’s easy to second guess yourself which is something I struggle with from time to time. If you make music for yourself first and foremost, the journey will reveal itself after you work hard for it!
Big thanks to George for taking the time to chat with us. Keep up to date with all things Aztek at the following link: https://www.facebook.com/aztekmusik1/